Monday, 24 February 2020

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Hasbro teamed up with Marvel to release a range of 11 inch tall 'Secret Warrior' dolls in 2018. The main line was fully articulated, then there were budget 'training outfit' and secret identity dolls with fewer joints and some molded clothing - much like Mattel's Super Hero Girls dolls.

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors Dolls

Secret Warriors

★ Patriot - box front / box back.
★ Ms. Marvel - box front / box back.
★ America Chavez - box front / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / box back.

Marvel Rising Secret Warriors

Training Outfit

★ Dante Pertuz - box front / box back.
★ America Chavez - box front / box back.
★ Ms. Marvel - box front / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / box back.

Marvel Rising Secret Identity Ghost-Spider DollMarvel Rising Secret Identity Quake Doll

Secret Identity

★ Ghost-Spider Gwen Stacey - box front / contents / box back.
★ Daisy Johnson (Quake) - box front / contents / box back.

Marvel Rising Deluxe Squirrel Girl Doll


★ Squirrel Girl (Target Exclusive) - box front / contents / box back.

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Sunday, 23 February 2020

This Week - 23/02/2020

An eye for an eye and the world goes blind

It was half term this week so I've spent lots of time at home with Marianna. There has been lots of drawing, reading, and finishing off every game on the CBBC apps roster. M usually has quite restricted tablet access but we let up as it was half term and the weather has been so atrocious. Plus it meant I got to watch some of my new Kojak boxset as opposed to endless repeats of Frozen or Barbie's Dreamhouse Adventures. I've only ever seen the odd episode of Kojak here and there before so I'd never properly appreciated how massively uncool Kojak should be. Only Telly Savalas could pull it off, seriously.

We did have a little movie night on Thursday to watch the Horrible Histories Rotten Romans movie. Kim Cattrall as Agrippina the Younger, mother to CBBC alumni Craig Roberts' Emperor [Mummy's Boy] Nero, was legitimately hilarious. Luckily Marianna really liked it too or else it would have just been me cackling at this film aimed at six year olds...

On Friday night a bunch of us went out for a meal to celebrate my aunt and uncle's wedding anniversary. Anthony was most upset because he had to stay in for a change - it will do his liver good. ;D Saturday we went to my mum's to watch the rugby. ...The less said about that the better!

Deal of the Week -

20% off at Serenata with promo code referral link

This week I've posted guides to Project Mc2 and Vi & Va dolls, a couple of lyric sheets for Welsh post-punk three piece Adwaith, and two giveaways for Morgan & Cwtch and a couple of Michael Rosen parody books. For my Friday Five series I wrote a post on critically endangered European languages, as a tie in with International Mother Language Day.

Song of the Week -

FEMME - Adwaith

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This Week - Weekly Overviews

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Morgan & Cwtch Giveaway!

Morgan & Cwtch

Last January we reviewed the lovely Morgan's Magic Moon by Christopher Parry. I was sold on the striking illustrations and the smooth flow of the rhyme, and Marianna was thrilled by the idea of a red headed protagonist with a small canine sidekick - just like her and my mum's dog!

So, today, I'm really pleased to be able to share a review of the next book in the series, Morgan & Cwtch. Cwtch, the name of the story's super cute dog, is a Welsh word for which there is no literal translation, but is basically a cuddly, snuggly kind of a hug.

As I said last time around, I absolutely love the stylized illustrations and the bright colour palette used by Jordan Brown. I am notoriously picky about the artwork in children's books - quietly swapping out books for editions with subjectively better illustrations is practically a full time hobby these days! - so that's no faint praise.

Morgan & Cwtch Illustrations

As for the story itself, the blurb sums it up well with: What do you do when there's fish at the window and you are under the sea? You open the door and begin to explore. Follow Morgan and Cwtch on their underwater adventures and how they come to the rescue of one of their new friends. This is a delightful children's story about helping others in need.

The story is easy to follow and, like its predecessor, the rhyme flows easily off the tongue - so important when a faltering syllable might seem like nothing until you've had to read a story twenty times over. I love that the central message is about helping others too. It sets up an easy in for further discussion without overly hammering the point home.

This time around Marianna was even able to join in with the reading; I really liked that Cwtch the dog's speech was highlighted with large letters - it provided the perfect starting point for Marianna to chip in and sound words out. The layout and text are both attractive and clear, which make it a joy to read even with little fingers wanting to trace out your progress.

Morgan & Cwtch by Christopher Parry

Marianna says: I liked it. My favourite bit was when they met the mermaid. And I liked the dog because he was really nice. He reminded me of Molly.

To pick up a copy for yourself, head on over to where softcover copies are available for £4.99. Alternatively, fill out the Gleam widget below to get up to five chances to win one:

Morgan & Cwtch Giveaway

Morgan & Cwtch Story Book by Chris Parry

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Reviews from Babi a Fi - food, fashion, beauty, baby, toys, books, tech, days out, and more!

Friday, 21 February 2020

Friday Five - Endangered Languages

Friday Five

Today is International Mother Language Day, a worldwide observance since 2000 which has its roots in the Bengali Language Movement of the 1950s. About half of the world's c. 7,000 living languages are predicted to be dead within the next 100 years, and 6% of them are already classified as being almost extinct.

In line with the day's aims, here are five European languages classified as critically endangered...

#5. Kernewek (Cornish)

Cornish, like Welsh and Breton, is a descendant of Old Brittonic. It survived well into the middle ages and only really began to lose its dominance in Cornwall after the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549. Speaker numbers fell rapidly from that point onwards and today, even with government intervention, there are estimated to be less than 1,000 fluent speakers.

The spelling is more anglicised, but you can see the similarities with Welsh from the postcard below. For more information check out Dyski Kernewek (Learn Cornish).


#4. līvõ kēļ (Livonian)

Spoken on the Livonian Coast of Latvia, Livonian - a language closely related to Estonian - was once spoken by upwards of 30,000 people. By 1900 that number had fallen to under 3,000 and, in spite of extra language protections following the fall of the Soviet Union, the language was declared dead in 2013. It has since been fighting back though, with university courses and social media exercises.


#3. τσακώνικα (Tsakonian)

The only living descendant of the Ancient Greek dialect of Doric, Tsakonian is today spoken by a few hundred people in the Peloponnese peninsula. It is not close enough to modern Greek to be mutually intelligible, and some of its dialects have already died out. As of 2020 it has no official language status, though efforts are being made to both preserve and promote it.


#2. Gagauzça (Gagauz)

The official language of Gagauzia (The Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia in Moldova, pop. 135,000), Gagauz is a Turkic language also spoken in parts of Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Gagauz is especially interesting for the way it has been adapted to a string of different alphabets; it was first written with Greek letters, then Cyrillic, before moving to an adaption of the modern Turkish alphabet in 1996. Although it has language protection it is rarely used as an administrative language, and education in Gagauzia is mostly delivered in the medium of Russian.

To see it in action, check out the website of Ana Sözü, a Gagauz newspaper.

Gagauz Republic Flag

#1. Galick (Manx Gaelic)

Back to the UK and another Celtic language, Manx is a historic language of the Isle of Man. Although it lacks official status and was once considered all but dead, persistent efforts to keep the language alive have ensured its survival and continued relevance - Manx is now taught as a second language in the island's schools, and there is no shortage of media both produced in and translated into Manx.

Check out Learn Manx to join the c. 2,000 Manx speakers.


Are you learning an endangered language? Let me know in the comments! :)

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Friday Five

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Vi and Va

Vi and Va by MGA Entertainment

MGA Entertainment launched Vi & Va in January 2015. In addition to being Spanish for 'live', ViVa was short for Viviana and Valentina, teenaged sisters who formed the central focus of the line. Their cousins Roxxi and Felicia rounded out the set. The dolls were aimed at younger girls, promoting friendship, family, and Latina culture.

The dolls had rooted hair, screened faces, and stood 9 inches tall.

Vi and Va

Core Dolls

★ Roxxi - box front / box back.
★ Valentina - box front / box back.
★ Viviana - box front / box back.
★ Felicia - box front / box back.

Vi and Va Core Dolls in Packaging

Vi and Va Fashion Designer ValentinaVi and Va Hair Stylist Valentina

Activity Dolls

★ Fashion Designer Viviana - box front / box back.
★ Hair Stylist Valentina - box front / box back.

Vi and Va Birthday Celebration Dolls

Birthday Celebration 

The Birthday Celebration set had a Sweet Sixteen theme for big sister Vi, and a Quinceañera theme for little sister Va.

★ Birthday Celebration Vi and Va - box front / contents / box back.

Vi and Va Fashion Packs
Fashion Packs

★ Roxxi - box front / box back.
★ Viviana - box front / box back.
★ Valentina - box front / box back.
★ Felicia - box front / box back.

Vi and Va Styling Head

No MGAE doll line would be complete without ye olde styling head...

★ Styling Head - box front / contents / box back.

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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Parody Books Giveaway

parody books

This month's giveaway is for two fun parody books - We're Going on a Bar Hunt and The Very Hungover Caterpillar! As the latter blurb says: The perfect book for anyone who fondly remembers the original, but has now grown up and knows all too well just how painful hungover days can be.

For up to five chances to win, please fill out the Gleam widget below...

Parody Books

Tuesday, 18 February 2020



Because there are only so many Welsh nursery ryhmes anyone can take, this week I did some lyric sheets for one of my favourite Welsh language bands. Adwaith (Reaction) are a three piece post punk group from Carmarthenshire who have lyrics to make you think - and melodies to make you want to listen even when you can't understand them!

Their debut album Melyn (Yellow) came out on Libertino Records in October 2018, and they've been slowly working on conquering the Welsh music scene, playing festivals and picking up awards. They're definitely ones to watch.

Lyrics for Hey! by Adwaith

The translation is something like:

This is the end of the world
Gather together
Radiation in the soil
This is the hour of our lives
So precious
Run from the truth
Now I see clearly

Hey hey hey hey!
You’re not helping
Hey hey hey hey!
You fear failure
Hey hey hey hey!
It’s hard to believe
When you refuse to see with your own eyes.

Hey hey hey hey!
You’re not listening
Hey hey hey hey!
You’re not finding
Hey hey hey hey!
It’s hard to believe
When you refuse to see with your own eyes.

Lyrics for Femme by Adwaith

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Welsh Language / Iaith Cymraeg

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